- Associated Press - Monday, June 30, 2014
Storms sweep across southern Wisconsin

SULLIVAN, Wis. (AP) - Severe thunderstorms have been packing high winds across southern Wisconsin.

The storms have triggered tornado warnings in the Madison area. Winds gusted as high as 78 mph near Lancaster in Gant County in the southwest corner of the state, while a funnel cloud was spotted near nearby Livingston.

The National Weather Service says trees have been knocked down in Grant and neighboring Iowa counties. Electrical poles came down in Mineral Point.

Meteorologist Denny VanCleve calls Monday’s storms a “high-moisture event” that could drop 1 to 2 inches of rain in quick cloudbursts.

The weather service also says a survey team has confirmed that an EF-2 tornado tracked through Iowa County Sunday, and an EF-1 tornado hit rural Dane County Sunday evening. Both caused significant damage to trees and buildings.

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Wisconsin governor tours storm damage

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker is thanking emergency responders for cleaning up storm damage in La Crosse.

According to the National Weather Service, two lines of storms converged on the western Wisconsin city Saturday evening. Wind gusts ranging from 30 miles per hour to 60 miles per hour downed power lines and trees. No one was hurt.

Parts of La Crosse County also are under a flood warning.

The governor toured the city Monday. He issued a statement late in the day thanking emergency workers and urging people around the state to sign up for emergency alerts through ReadyWisconsin, a state emergency management website with tips on how to deal with disasters.

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Foster mom recalls Oregon woman found in suitcase

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. (AP) - The foster mother of an Oregon woman whose remains were found in a suitcase dropped along a rural road in Wisconsin says she hadn’t heard from her foster daughter for more than a year.

Lorraine Ericksen, of Cottage Grove, Oregon, told The Associated Press on Monday that she’s been in shock since police came to her house Friday to look at hair samples.

Wisconsin authorities say Jenny Gamez is the second of two women whose bodies were found June 5 in Town of Geneva, about an hour southwest of Milwaukee. A 52-year-old security officer has been arrested in connection with their deaths.

Ericksen says Gamez was an upbeat teenager who had a hard time after giving up her son to his father several years earlier.

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Hearing postponed for suspect in $5M violin theft

MILWAUKEE (AP) - A plea hearing has been postponed for a Milwaukee man accused of stealing a $5 million Stradivarius violin.

Salah (suh-LAH’) Salahadyn (suh-LAH’-ha-deen) pleaded not guilty in February to being a party to felony robbery. He later asked to enter a new plea. A hearing for that was set for Monday, but the judge postponed proceedings due to scheduling issues.

The new plea hearing will be July 24. That’s the same day Salahadyn’s co-defendant is to be sentenced. Thirty-six-year-old Universal K. Allah pleaded guilty in May to being party to robbery.

The 300-year-old violin was missing for nine days before police recovered it in good condition.

Salahadyn was convicted in 2000 of trying to resell a $25,000 statue to an art gallery owner from whom it had been stolen.

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